Red devils and white men

McIntyre-Tamwoy, Susan (2000) Red devils and white men. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

Since European invasion of the region, northern Cape York has had a rich and varied history. This thesis presents that history as a ‘shared’ heritage. This is a heritage that has value and meaning for both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, although these values and meanings may vary between and within these groups. The stories of the people and events in the recent past that shaped the places described in this thesis have usually been told as non-indigenous stories (e.g Stevens 1980) whereas in fact they constitute the recent history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that exist in Cape York today.

Events of particular importance to the local people and their history are described locally through ‘stories’. The landscape is important to the understanding and communication of these stories and specific parts of the landscape are referred to as stori plesis. These places have been absorbed into Aboriginal cosmology in northern Cape York.

The indigenous landscape is a sentient one, with a range of spirits associated with its different parts. The most important aspect of history for indigenous people in northern Cape York is the ‘stori’. The ongoing experiences of people who interact with the landscape and its spirits provide the ‘evidence’ to support and illustrate that stori. On the other hand, for non-indigenous visitors the story is not meaningful without ‘physical’ evidence such as ruins or buildings. It is through the fabric and relics that most non-indigenous people see and experience heritage.

I examine the history of the area and those aspects of the history that are fundamental to the indigenous stori, and give an overview of the places that relate to that stori and the extent to which these have been accommodated in indigenous cosmology. Arising from this I present a summary of the shared heritage of the region. The management and presentation of the physical evidence and places that illustrate this shared heritage are discussed in the contexts of landscape management and cross-cultural communication. As indigenous communities take over the responsibility for land management in the region and also move to exploit the benefits of cultural tourism they take on a responsibility to manage the heritage of the area in a way that recognises both indigenous and non-indigenous values. This thesis calls for a holistic approach to the management of heritage values, and presents a model for the management of the shared heritage of northern Cape York Peninsula.

Item ID: 8183
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Cape York Peninsula, white settlement, Aboriginal heritage, World War II, Injinoo, Mapoon, Bamaga, Queensland history, Indigenous land management, Indigenous Australians, cultural heritage, heritage management, archaeological history, invasions, World War II sites, North Queensland Missions, Indigenous reservations, intercultural contact
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2010 05:04
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210108 Historical Archaeology (incl Industrial Archaeology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950307 Conserving the Historic Environment @ 50%
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